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2019 Camino Guides

Poles don't fit in checked luggage!

Camino(s) past & future
First Camino will be this October
#1
hi!
My hiking poles don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#2
hi!
My hiking polls don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
Most airports I've been to the last few years have these (mobile) Shrink-Wrapping stations for luggage protection. Ideal for backpacks with all their straps and whatnot. Might also do the trick for poles. Buen Camino!
 

Iriebabel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte for April (2019) possible Primitivo
#3
hi!
My hiking polls don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
My two cents I’d recommend sealing them in cardboard or plastic from home to protect them from snagging or bending then stick them in the pocket normally used for water bottle and subsequently secure them with bungee or paracord and caribiners to the outside of the pack...sounds like overkill but it may keep them from being dislodged during transport. Upon arrival ditch the cardboard/plastic then you can use the paracord in case you need a belt loosing weight and also as a clothes line if none available . On the way back ...you can always find free cardboard to do the same for the trip home. i think waiting to secure them in the airport with plastic may cost you a couple dollars so why spend that when you can do it at home.. If you want to protect your back pack and straps use the rain cover or Stick the entire pack in a cheap laundry bag from any dollar store, or use a thick contractor garbage bag although i suspect this may rip.... In either case options are light weight, reusable and useful
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#4
Most, if not all, poles pull apart very easily into 2 or 3 individual sections, depending on the pole.
They just pull out...you may have to pull a bit hard but not real strong. They are usually fitted into each other with a "rubber" type gasket or "O" ring. It is not rocket science and they will fit back together when you arrive very simply. You will have to work at it to screw anything up. Big difference in overall size.

You then will have much shorter sections to fit in your pack. If in doubt...watch this video from Leki about cleaning your poles. The important part is the pulling the poles apart....
 
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
#6
I have had no problem if I put the poles, one on each side of the pack, with the tip-ends inside the mesh side-pockets and the rest of each pole secured tightly under the straps, and my pack cover on. The clerk then puts it in a blue bin and onto the conveyor belt. Never had a problem in the airport or at the other end.
 
Last edited:

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#7
I know it is an extra cost, but would you consider a new pair that collapses to 38-40 cms, like Leki´s Micro Vario Ti system? Very strong and light...
They have saved me many a time and fit inside the Rucksack in the hull...
offers online from 95 pounds sterling/ 135 Euros
 
#8
Before I had poles that would go in my backpack, I used to check them in a long hard cardboard tube. That worked till the airline lost them one year, so I changed my poles and started carrying them on.

If you do use this tube idea (which worked fine for me for several years till they got lost), you should know that in most airports that makes the piece an "oversized" piece, and it will show up at a different place than on the regular carousel. So keep an eye out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Casino del Norte 2015 in part, Camilo del Norte 2016 finish in 2017.
#9
hi!
My hiking polls don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
Hello, if the poles go down, you should be able to take them apart my come apart in 3 pieces. Check them out.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#10
We have used a nylon outdoor chair bag cover. The chair cost 6 dollars at Walmart. Wrap clothes around the poles and make sure they are protected in the bag. We then tape the draw string end. It works well. When we arrive, we put the bag, which ways 1ounce into the backpack.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
#11
I use a rucksack carry-cover. Not only does it protect the straps from snagging on the airport belts/rollers, the poles can be dropped in alongside the rucksack before it’s zipped up. They are widely available at outdoor retailers in the UK, and it should be the same online/ in other countries.
Admittedly, my rucksack is large size + I do have to carry the cover while on my caminos (a negligible mass and weight in a 65l rucksack).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#12
You could marry the hard cardboard tube idea and the carry-cover or plastic wrap ideas. Use the tube to protects the poles (and everything they might snag), and attach to your pack with the bungee cord rather than separately checking them - and use either the carry-cover or wrap to keep it all together.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
De la plata
#13
I have had to leave my poles at 2 airports (Milan and London) due to increased security so watch out for that. They gave me the option to put them in the hold for 40 euros!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean
2014, 2016 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
#14
hi!
My hiking polls don't fit inside my checked luggage (they do "shrink down" but are still too long).
I'm thinking about attaching them with bungie cords to my checked luggage. Do you think this could work? Can you put them into checked luggage on their own? I'm a newbie; starting my Camino
on October 10. Getting real!
Hi
I tried attaching them to the outside flying to Seville. One totally ripped off in two pieces. The hand strap on another had been caught in something and was pulled tight.
Don’t even think about it. If they don’t completely come apart and fit inside buy a very cheap larger bag, even a sack or suitcase you an put the poles and backpack in and dump at the other end.
Good luck
Happymark
 
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2016 Camino Frances to Leon
Fall 2017 Camino Frances to Finisterre
#15
A couple of years ago I met a burly-looking man in Madrid who was heading off to start his walk in Seville. He had an old-fashioned, flowery suitcase with only a handle and no wheels (aghast!) and he was carrying this bag to the train station. He told me that his backpack had been destroyed when it came off the airport carousel a few years ago. Each time he goes on a Camino now, he buys an old suitcase for a few bucks, packs his poles and pack into it, checks it in at the airlines and then donates the suitcase when he gets to Spain. Though, I'm not sure anyone else would have wanted this suitcase.........
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#16
(1) FOLLOW GRAYLAND'S advice above... I was going to recommend the same thing. it reduces your poles by 3 - 4 inches in overall length, depending on pole size. It makes the difference.

(2) If #1 alone does not work for you, after doing #1 to reduce pole length, strap them together using rubber bands and lash to one outer side of full rucksack.

(3) Put entire assembly into a nylon laundry bag, or other suitable outer sack to protect the rucksack and everything connected to it.

Hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
#17
I'll be buying mine in Pamplona - I've read they're inexpensive and readily available at sporting goods stores. Since I have to buy my multi-tool there anyway (knife for cheese, etc), I figure it's worth the inconvenience of having them destroyed, forbidden in the carryon, etc. Buen Camino!
 

easygoing

Walking the Camino with my 15 year old self
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 5 times, twice in 2017. (May 2018 and September 2018)
#19
I always buy fiberglass collapsible poles
I place them inside my backpack , one on each side of the pack so they look on x-ray like a pack frame. They do collapse down to fit into my pack. I do this a when I fly to Madrid with no problem. Then returning home I check my bag in a light weight duffel bag. Spanish security won't let you carry on poles.
 
Camino(s) past & future
St. Francis Route 2017
#20
Before I had poles that would go in my backpack, I used to check them in a long hard cardboard tube. That worked till the airline lost them one year, so I changed my poles and started carrying them on.

If you do use this tube idea (which worked fine for me for several years till they got lost), you should know that in most airports that makes the piece an "oversized" piece, and it will show up at a different place than on the regular carousel. So keep an eye out.
As I was determined to go as light as possible for my Camino last year, my pack was my carry on; I purchased a mailing tube from Mail Boxes, Etc., and checked it in with my poles snugly inside. Apropos of your comment, I did not initially think to look in the "oversized" area of baggage claim when I arrived in Paris. But, there they were! In Bayonne, I washed all my travel clothes, folded them, and donated all, including the mailing tube. My moment of truth was changing into my "Camino outfit", and walking to the train station. A 45 day fashion statement? Not. Traveling light? Yep.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
De la plata
#22
I'll be buying mine in Pamplona - I've read they're inexpensive and readily available at sporting goods stores. Since I have to buy my multi-tool there anyway (knife for cheese, etc), I figure it's worth the inconvenience of having them destroyed, forbidden in the carryon, etc. Buen Camino!
10 euros is the cheapest for a pair of poles in Spain. Too expensive for me but maybe OK for others.
 

Deeanne

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016), Hospitalera (2018)
#25
Hi Becky :) Two years ago I took my poles in a sealed mailing tube as carry on. No problems from Oakland to London or on to Bordeaux, though I think it has to do with the TSA agent you encounter. I checked them through on the way back in a friend's bag. This year I am taking poles that fit in my pack - Sterling Endurance from Amazon, collapses to 13" and $38. Nothing fancy but they work great! Personally I would never check my bag on the start of a Camino with the fear that it would get delayed or lost. It's 15lbs and easily meets the carry on requirements. Buen Camino to you! It's getting close and October is a great time for the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016/17)
Camino Ingles (2018)
#26
Hi Becky :) Two years ago I took my poles in a sealed mailing tube as carry on. No problems from Oakland to London or on to Bordeaux, though I think it has to do with the TSA agent you encounter. I checked them through on the way back in a friend's bag. This year I am taking poles that fit in my pack - Sterling Endurance from Amazon, collapses to 13" and $38. Nothing fancy but they work great! Personally I would never check my bag on the start of a Camino with the fear that it would get delayed or lost. It's 15lbs and easily meets the carry on requirements. Buen Camino to you! It's getting close and October is a great time for the Camino.
 

Deeanne

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016), Hospitalera (2018)
#28
Yes, Hopeful Pilgrim. That was why I brought them home in a friend's bag. Otherwise I would have donated them. Just after typing the response above I got a notification that a friend is stuck in Porto waiting to find out where her checked bag ended up! She's exploring the city more than she originally intended but is hopeful her bag will turn up so she can start walking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
#29
I had a large draw string laundry bag fit pack and poles however at airport in Santiago i watched a couple pull out a roll of saran wrap and easy peasy they wrapped their own. Either method was cheap and easy.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte
#30
I see that you are a newbie. Have you done much walking before? Have you used poles before? If you have used poles before and regard them as essential, fine. But if not, don't bother with them. I have walked five caminos and never used poles. I regard them as a waste of money and weight. I grant that they can be useful going down steep uneven paths, but I just take a bit of extra care. You will see people tip-tapping them along the way, not really using them as they are intended to be used, or just carrying them. Many people forget to pick them up when they leave a bar or café, which, to my mind, just shows how essential they are (not!)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
#31
I can't gush about poles enough and consider them essential for ME. They give you a nice upper body workout, help transfer the weight onto your core/upper body and have saved me from a fall or two. They also help you set a nice pace but I do agree with Bert45, you must learn to use them "properly" to get the most out of them. I'll also say that "Proper Use" is relative. Although most people agree on the basics of pole use, many people have to make slight adjustments for themselves to get maximum benefit. It's all trial and error (a little like life or a camino walk). It's very easy to see the basics on many YouTube videos. I'd definitely look into buying them in Spain, however, instead of worrying with them in your pack.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#32
I see that you are a newbie. Have you done much walking before? Have you used poles before? If you have used poles before and regard them as essential, fine. But if not, don't bother with them. I have walked five caminos and never used poles. I regard them as a waste of money and weight. I grant that they can be useful going down steep uneven paths, but I just take a bit of extra care. You will see people tip-tapping them along the way, not really using them as they are intended to be used, or just carrying them. Many people forget to pick them up when they leave a bar or café, which, to my mind, just shows how essential they are (not!)
I started my last Camino thinking like Bert. I hadn't needed poles in 1989 and, indeed, had carried a much heavier backpack all around Europe without poles. By the time I got to Viana, when newly acquired knee braces and heavy doses of ibuprofen were not sufficient, I knew better. I would not have completed my Camino without the poles I got there. And, unlike my 15 year old son who was bounding down the descents, I was taking them slowly and carefully from the beginning. It wasn't enough.

Bert's experience is valid for him. But others find poles not just useful, but essential.

I generally advise people to take poles because even if they aren't essential I think they are helpful. But if you want to start without them, play close attention to how your knees feel and if they start the slightest complaining, I would get poles as soon as possible. Then maybe you won't be relying on knee braces and painkillers as well to get you through the day.
 

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